“I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine»(Song of Solomon 6:3)
In many places, February 14 is celebrated as St. Valentine’s Day, the day dedicated to lovers, love or friendship. Valentine was a priest who lived in the city of Rome in the third century where he served the Christians of the era in the times of Claudius Il (Gothicus). The emperor Claudius prohibited marriage amongst the youth with the intention of training an elite army of soldiers without family responsibilities. Naturally, this measure promoted free love amongst the youngsters. To avoid this and preserve the sanctity of marriage, Valentine secretly married these young Christians. When the authorities discovered his disobedience to the civil law, Valentine was arrested, sent to prison, tried then sentenced to death. He was tortured to death on the 14th of February 270. This is how he became the patron of lovers.
Many centuries before, Solomon wrote the Song of Solomon, which is an exaltation of a couple’s love, where romanticism, sexuality, and marital union are clearly uplifted. Many centuries before, true matrimony was established—something that God Himself designed for the benefit of man and woman (Gen. 2:24).
The virtuous marriage is an option that entails high levels of gratification and better health. It is even alleged to promote longevity. Dr. Lewis Terman (1877-1956) carried out a fascinating study where he chose and followed a thousand five hundred children of high intellectual capacity who participated in the study their whole lifetime. There were many data gathered from the subjects, one of which was marital status and its relation to their health and Longevity. One of the last resorts on this group was published by Howard Friedman University of California and Leslie Martin (La Sierra University). Their book The Longevity Project shows that these participants (some of them who were still alive when the book was published in 2011) enjoyed a longer life if they had had a happy marriage.
Marriage is of divine origin and it represents an ideal. It is true that there are marriages that cause more pain than pleasure, but it is also true that many others are very successful, largely through the practice of true love and through God’s power. By His grace, resolve today to nurture your love relationships, be it with your spouse, parent, child, sibling, and like Solomon you will be able to say, «I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine!